And the Lord said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant
Or, "hast thou put thine heart on my servant" F16; not in a way of love and affection to him, to do him any good or service, there being an original and implacable enmity in this old serpent to the seed of the woman; but rather his heart was set upon him in a way of desire to have him in his hands, to do him all the mischief he could, as the desire of his heart was toward Peter, ( Luke 22:31 ) but the sense of the question is, since thou sayest thou hast been walking up and down in the earth, hast thou not taken notice of Job, and cast an eye upon him, and wished in thine heart to have him in thine hands to do him hurt? I know that thou hast; hast thou not contrived in thine heart how to attack him, tempt him, and draw him from my service, and into sins and snares, in order to reproach and accuse him? thou hast, but all in vain; and so it is a sarcasm upon Satan, as well as an expression of indignation at him for such an attempt upon him, and as anticipating his accusation of Job; for it is as if he should further say, I know he is in thine eye, and upon thine heart, now thou art come with a full intent to accuse and charge him; so Jarchi, "lest thou set thine heart" so as "to have a good will to accuse him" he had, but the Lord prevents him, by giving a high character of him, in these and the following words: here he calls him "my servant"; not a servant of men, living according to the lusts and will of men, and their customs and forays of worship, superstition, and idolatry; nor a servant of sin and the lusts of the flesh; nor of Satan, who boasted of the whole earth being his; but the Lord's servant, not only by creation, but by special choice, by redemption, by efficacious grace, and the voluntary surrender of himself to the Lord under the influence of it; and by his cheerful and constant obedience he answered this character; and the Lord here claims his property in him, acknowledges him as his servant, calls him by name, and gives an high and honourable account of him:
that there is none like him in the earth;
or "in the land"; in the land of Uz, so Obadiah Sephorno; whatever there were in other countries, there were none in this, being in general idolaters; or in the land of the people of the Heathen nations, as the Targum; or rather in the whole earth, where Satan had been walking: and, very probably, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were now dead; Job being, as it should seem, between them and the times of Moses; and though there might be many godly persons then living, who were like to him in quality, being partakers of the same divine nature, having the same image of God upon them, and the same graces in them, and a similar experience of divine things, yet not upon an equality with him; he exceeded them all in grace and holiness; and particularly, none came up to him for his patience in suffering affliction, though this was often tried; as Moses excelled others in meekness, and Solomon in wisdom; Job was an eminent saint and servant of the Lord, a father in his family, a pillar in his house, like Saul among the people, taller in grace and the exercise of it; and this is a reason why he could not but be taken notice of by Satan, who has his eye more especially on the most eminent saints, and envies them, and strikes at them; and so the words are by some rendered, "for there is none like him" F17; or rather they may be rendered, "but there is none like him" F18: and so are opposed to the accusations and charges Satan was come with against him:
a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
(See Gill on Job 1:1) here the character there given is confirmed by the Lord in the express words of it.
F16 (ydbe le Kbl tmvh) "nunquid posuisti cor tuum super servum meum", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt.
F17 (yk) "nam", Piscator.
F18 "Atqui", Schmidt.